Friday, April 24, 2009

Now I Know!!

Have you ever watched a mystery or scary movie and because someone hears a noise in the basement they open the basement door and go down into the dark without telling or calling anyone? Or if it's outside and they hear a rustling in the woods they go to see what was causing it? How about on the news covering a story about flooded roads and you see the one idiot who thought their car would float on water? And you sit there and think about how stupid can people be?

If you hear something in the basement, get out of the house. If you hear rustling in the woods, run! If you see a flooded area, back up! I mean, come on!!

However I now know how these things can happen. Yes, I am not dumb but I am guilty of stupidity.

The other day I was off on a road trip for my job. I basically have to travel across and up the state of NJ to go from Vineland to Medford Lakes. Believe it or not NJ still has a lot of open land and of course our famous Pine Barrens. Because I am one who can get lost in our neighborhood let alone traveling 70 some miles into the wilderness, my husband bought me a GDS oh no, a GPS. Here's my GPS:



I love it! It can do so many things that I don't know how to do or get it to do. I can enter the address and select whether I want to take expressways, the fastest way or the shortest route. For this road trip I selected the shortest route.

I was doing fine at the beginning as I could recognize some of the areas I was traveling through. I went past my son's apartment complex, past the school where my daughter teaches, and then past the school where I used to work. From there though I really needed the GPS.

As you can see above the little thingy wanted me to be on this Jackson Rd. If you live in NJ you know there can be a million roads of the same name. Not me, and I've lived here all my life. Jackson road sounded familiar but it was a little, little side road off a main road and nothing to say this is Jackson Rd. In my mind I did question the turn but the devil made me go ahead and turn.

Initially it wasn't bad and it was a 5 mile jog to my next turn. The rain from the previous two days and early morning was still obvious by the wet road and gray skies but it was a beautiful tree lined typical pine barren road. A couple of houses had sprouted up. I figured I was in Atco getting ready to enter Medford. I think.

Anyhow, I was beebopping along when the road suddenly narrowed and turned into a dirt road. Hmmm... It was muddy but not that deep mud that I could get stuck in. I actually stopped and thought. Yes, at times I do stop and think. Here's my rationale for continuing.

First my GPS told me to go this way. God forbid I would have to backtrack because I was cutting the meeting close at this point. Second, as I said the road looked solid and even though muddy, it was passable. Third, I thought it might just be a short section being re-paved. Fourth, if it got too bad I'd turn around, call the school and just let them know I'd be a bit late.

So I continued. If you check the GPS above you'll see I started becoming concerned about a half mile in. The first mile being the paved road. I could feel the closeness of the pine trees and the thickness of the underbrush. It was so quiet and peaceful. It was the wilderness, only me, my car and whatever was in the woods.



Now I stopped and re-thought my rationale for entering what could be my demise. OK, I'm in an area where I'm sure Verizon isn't going to hear me now. I have plenty of gas and the road still looks passable. Time is not on my side. So forward!

As I proceeded I took more interest in the beauty of the area, always hoping the Jersey Devil wasn't going to pop out on me. I have a very vivid imagination.

Due to the conditions of the road I drove slowly and came upon a tree that had broken off at it's base and fallen. I wondered if it had made any noise when it fell. After all if no one is there to hear it... Then I wondered how did it just break at it's base and fall. It's possible there was a lightning strike. Or maybe a bear climbed up to the top and because of it's weight the tree broke?

Silenced Tree Print print
Silenced Tree Print by Firecrackinmama

I continued a bit farther down the road when I came across a lake that seemed to be on both sides of the road.

I was glad it wasn't raining at this point because I was sure the water could cover the road. My imagination was let loose again. I could see my car sunk in that lake out in the middle of nowhere, never to be found. I drove on.

Now I came upon the greatest challenge of this road trip.

I just started laughing like the GPS was. The arrow still said to go straight. Hmmm...

Guess which road I took. Obviously I chose the right one because I'm here writing this Blog. Life is making choices. I still live by my own code: Don't just live life, make your life.

I arrived at my meeting on time believe it or not. Of course we started off with a bit of humor about my trip. The administrator laughed and commented about knowing the dirt road and matter of factly stated that GPS don't indicate it's a dirt road. No joke, Sherlock.

The parents laughed because they've been to this school multiple times and are from Vineland. They asked me why I didn't come the way they did. I've been to the school multiple times too but it's nestled deep in Medford Lakes where Indian trails lead to it's front door. I trusted my GPS as I had gotten lost previous times using MapQuest. It's hard to look at a paper map when driving or even if I pulled over.

At any rate the parents offered to guide me out and put me on the main road back to Vineland. I was very grateful as the rains had returned and if I had gone back the way I came, I probably wouldn't be sitting here today.

Have a Firecrackin good day!



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